At this point in the season Derrick Henry’s highlights are starting to pile up a bit.
This week’s game against Charleston Southern will provide the coaching staff and the Alabama fan base with a chance to evaluate some of the guys playing reserve roles.
One position to watch this weekend will be the running backs. Henry probably won’t see too many carries on Saturday, and Kenyan Drake’s injury should mean more playing time for Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough.
“Are they going to step up to the challenge and compete and show the maturity you need to get ready to play a game and play it well and do it on a consistent basis?” coach Nick Saban said. “Those guys are very capable and we certainly need them to come through us right now after losing Kenyan and I think they’re both very capable of doing that.”
Saban said Drake’s surgery went well, but he will still miss a few weeks. Even that might not be long enough. Drake will still have to prove he has recovered enough to contribute before he can see the field again.
Offensive lineman Cam Robinson said he is confident that both backs will be able to contribute in Drake’s absence.
“We know they’re both playmakers and are explosive when they get the ball in their hands,” Robinson said. “I think Damien is a little quicker than Bo, but Bo is more of a down-hill guy. Both of them brings something different to the table.”
However, Drake is not the only Alabama player that is dealing with injuries. Minkah Fitzpatrick is listed as day-to-day after suffering an injury early on against Mississippi State. Saban said Tony Brown and Maurice Smith will compete this week in practice to see which one gets earns second string reps at Minkah’s star (fifth defensive back) position.
“I think both guys did a good job when they went in there. He [Brown] and Maurice Smith have kind of gone back and forth as who the next guy is that plays,” Saban said. “But Tony had a better week in practice [last week] and they were in empty a lot. He did a good job in the game. He got his hands on a couple of balls, could have had an interception.”
Whether Fitzpatrick plays on Saturday or not both of those guys could see some playing time on Saturday. When they see the field Saban will be watching to see which one of those guys can do the best job of “sustaining the standard” as he put it on Monday.
“Nobody is entitled to anything,” Saban said. “You have to earn it.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports